Renewed Regulatory Scrutiny Over Google’s Privacy Sandbox Project

iPhone with cookie next to it

A complaint to the UK’s antitrust authorities stated that Google is planning to stop companies from tracking users on the web. On Monday Marketers for an Open Web (MOW) have put pressure on the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to stop google’s efforts with their new privacy tools.

Google’s Privacy Sandbox Has Been Under Scrutiny For Months

We have been following the sandbox issue since January at VPNoverview and the project is scheduled for release early next year and it effectively gives Google even more power over online ad data than before. It completely changes how online companies reach consumers. As a reminder to our readers, Google plans to end cookies completely by 2022 and replace them with the Privacy Sandbox.

The privacy sandbox issue is at such a level of concern now that the CMA is considering stopping the launch of such a system even though no decision have been made as of yet. Google’s answer to this is that the Privacy Sandbox project’s mission is to “Create a thriving web ecosystem that is respectful of users and private by default.”

Using Privacy As An Excuse

Complaints are being filed against US tech bigs exploiting privacy for dominance. Google’s new tool will be able to skew much more online advertising towards themselves. This is essentially domination of the free, open web under the guise of privacy.

We can confirm we have received a complaint regarding Google raising certain concerns, some of which relate to those we identified in our online platforms and digital advertising market study,” said the CMA spokesperson. “We take the matters raised in the complaint very seriously, and will assess them carefully with a view to deciding whether to open a formal investigation under the Competition Act.”

The Domination of Big Tech

In its reports of the online ad market, the CMA revealed that big-tech have grown so powerful that a completely new regulatory approach is necessary. Essentially the authorities have to step in and there has to be intervention at the government level.

Google is essentially trying to pass tools that creating Google’s own standards on how businesses and users will interact online.

The Marketers for an Open Web (MOW) group criticised that the Sandbox addition would get rid of login, advertising and other privacy features on Google Chrome.

“The world’s regulators have realised that Google is attempting to take over the web through its dominance of areas such as search, online advertising and browser technologies,” explained James Rosewell, Director of MOW.”

“However, their efforts to mitigate this monopoly power will be in vain if Google manages to consolidate its dominance through the introduction of Privacy Sandbox prior to the regulators’ recommended changes to the law being implemented.  If Google releases this technology, they will effectively own the means by which media companies, advertisers and technology businesses reach their consumers and that change will be irreversible.”

Potential Formal Investigation Under The Competition Act

Potential formal investigation under The Competition Act is a possibility for the fate of The Privacy Sandbox Project. If intervention is necessary, the CMA will consider using “interim measures” to stop any suspected anti-competitive conduct pending a full investigation.

The MOW group stated that if Google’s system is in place, “changes will move the digital ad business” into the walled garden of its Chrome browser, where it would be beyond the reach of regulators.

Tech researcher & communications specialist
Mirza has an education background in Global Communications, has worked in advertising, marketing, journalism and television over the years while living in several different countries. He is now working to consolidate news and outreach at VPNoverview.com, while in his free time he likes to work on documentary projects, read about sociology and write about world events.